The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) swept the cantonment board elections held across Pakistan on Sunday.
According to the preliminary, unofficial results, the PTI bagged 63 seats, closely followed by PML-N which won 59, independents captured 52.
The established parties like the PPP could manage only 17 seats, the MQM won 10, the Jamaat-e-Islami seven and Awami National Party and the Balochistan Awami Party secured two seats each.
The PTI secured the most seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 18, followed by 28 in Punjab, 14 in Sindh and three in Balochistan.
The PML-N, however, could heave a sigh of relief as it swept Punjab with 51 seats, but managed only five in KP, three in Sindh and none in Balochistan.
It was surprising that the PTI defeated the PPP in its stronghold Sindh. Both the parties secured 14 seats each. The PPP bagged three seats in KP, but none in either Punjab or Balochistan.
However, the PTI suffered a major setback in Karachi when it lost to the PPP in Defence and Clifton, considered PTI strongholds.
Independent candidates scored big in Punjab, bagging 32 seats. They captured nine in KP, seven in Sindh and four in Balochistan.
The MQM won all of its 10 seats in Sindh, whereas JI won five in Sindh and two in Punjab. ANP won two seats in KP, whereas BAP won two in Balochistan.
THE ELECTIONS: A total 1,560 candidates contested the elections, of whom 684 as independent, and 876 on different political parties’ tickets. The ruling PTI fielded the maximum number of candidates,183.
The PML-N fielded 144 candidates, the PPP 113, the Jamaat-e-Islami 104, the outlawed Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan 83, the MQM-P 42, the Pak Sarzamin Party 35, the PML-Q 34, and the JUI-F 25 candidates.
Of the candidates vying for the total 219 wards across 42 cantonment boards, seven candidates were elected unopposed. Therefore, the elections were held for 212 seats.
In addition, there was no competition in four wards of Kamra, none in one ward of Rawalpindi and one ward of Pano Aqil.
The polling process started at 8am and continued till 5pm. Voters inside the polling station were allowed to cast votes after 5pm. The gates were closed for those queued outside.
Ironically, not a single woman candidate contested elections in Lahore. However, 357 polling stations were set up for 606,628 voters in the city. A total 269 candidates contested elections for 20 wards of Lahore. Of the total, 241 polling stations were declared sensitive and 44 the most sensitive.
THE CLAIMS: After the elections,Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the PTI “proved” that it is the “only party” that enjoys support across the country and in every constituency.
“The real contest today was with the independents. Peoples Party and Noon League’s standing has been exposed,” he added.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif thanked God and the people who had shown the party support through their votes in the polls.
“We assure the people that we will not disappoint them and will leave no stone unturned in resolving their hardships and issues,” he said.
“We will take the country on the path to development, progress and prosperity with renewed vigour. InshaAllah,” he added.